Master Class on Faith and Reason in the Thought of John Henry Newman: The Oxford University Sermons

Nov 20, 2015
Gavin House
1220 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Reinhard HütterDuke University Divinity School



Reinhard Hütter (Duke University)


This master class is open to all graduate and undergraduate students, including non-University of Chicago students. Space is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have any questions, please contact Mark Franzen.

This three-hour seminar will focus on the one of Newman’s works, which he himself called “the best, not the most perfect, book I have done.” The Oxford University Sermons are the Anglican precursor and still the best introduction to the Catholic Newman’s masterwork, The Grammar of Assent. Sermons 10-15 constitute a precis of Newman’s mature theory of religious belief. In these sermons he develops the epistemological basis for belief in objective dogma and dogmatic theology. The masterclass will focus its attention especially on sermons 10-13.

No background knowledge of the topic is required to participate. Copies of the book John Henry Newman, Fifteen Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford Between A.D. 1826 and 1843, introd. by Mary Katherine Tillman (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1997) will be provided free of charge for participants.


  • Sermon 10 “Faith and Reason, Contrasted as Habits of Mind”
  • Sermon 11 “The Nature of Faith in Relation to Reason”
  • Sermon 12 “Love as Safeguard of Faith against Superstition”
  • Sermon 13 “Implicit and Explicit Reason”

Reinhard Hütter is Professor of Fundamental and Dogmatic Theology in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America. He is currently an ordinary academician of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Hütter taught systematic theology for seventeen years at Duke University Dvinity School, has held a guest professorship at the University of Jena, Germany, and was the Randall Chair of Christianity and Culture at Providence College, Providence, RI as well as the Paluch Chair of Theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. His most recent book is Dust Bound for Heaven: Explorations in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas. He is co-editor of Nova et Vetera: The English Edition of the International Theological Journal.